October 25, 2014

Elyria
Partly cloudy with showers
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UPDATED: Wellington credit union robbery suspect arrested

James Wingard

James Wingard

WELLINGTON — James Wingard was sitting in a Cleveland bar talking to the FBI on the phone when Cleveland police arrested him Wednesday for allegedly robbing the LorMet Community Credit Union in Wellington on Saturday.

Wellington Police Chief Mike Barrett said another patron in the bar had overheard the 48-year-old Wingard’s conversation and contacted police.

Barrett said Wingard has called the FBI a couple of times since he was identified as the suspect in the robbery Sunday. In those conversations, Barrett said, Wingard has denied involvement and insisted he was being framed.

He also said that Wingard has told other people that police wouldn’t catch him.

Barrett said that Wingard first entered the credit union about 10:15 a.m. Saturday morning with a folder and appeared to be asking for a donation. The teller told him to contact the corporate office and Wingard left.

He retuned about 11:45 a.m. and again demanded money, informing the teller that he didn’t want to hurt anyone and reaching behind his back, the chief said. No weapon was brandished during the robbery, but the teller complied with his demand for cash, giving Wingard around $900, Barrett said.

When he was arrested Wednesday, Wingard told police that he had spent most of the money, although he acknowledged there might be a few dollars left in his pickup, Barrett said.

He also said that Wingard has some medical problems, but he didn’t disclose them.

Wingard was being held at the Lorain County Jail on Wednesday and is due in Oberlin Municipal Court for an initial appearance today, Barrett said.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @BradDickenCT.